Caleb Jenkins makes zines. He seemingly cranks them out, one after another, and he prints and binds every one himself, and shares his process and thoughts on his Instagram. He also runs a branding and advertising agency, but this is about his beautiful little zines, in particular, ‘All Over Now.’
The blurb on the store page claims the project documents “the fictional story of a person trying to find their way back to familiar settings with little success.” With that prompt, the whole thing makes much more sense.
The zine opens with scenes of life, left behind: abandoned houses, broken-down out buildings, and general scenes of country struggle. After a few pages, people appear, moving around, working, maybe, visiting a machine shop. Then there’s a lost cat, some inhabited houses. We go for a drive and do some small engine repair. We go back out into the country and look across the darkened valley at some life somewhere over there. We take a walk along the tracks, through a field, and wind up at a locked country gate. The End.
A couple of shots elude me: some blurry Chuck’s on some rocks or something are a bit incongrous, as is the one, rather clean, well-kept looking mid-Century porch. But it all works together pretty well.
Overall, I’d give it an enthusiastic 3.5 stars. The concept is solid, the content a bit uneven, and the design is spot on and inspirational. Jenkin’s love for the medium and his attention to the craft are in evidence, and the little 5×7 zine is really nicely made.
I came across Jenkins thanks to Matt Day’s The Shoot podcast. If you’re interested in zine making and project development, the episode is worth a listen, for sure. And all of Jenkins’ zines are open editions, so drop by his shop and pick up one (or 5). He has a new one out called “American Eclipse” that should be on its way to me soon. You can get most of his zines with a group of prints (as I did), and I actually prefer the prints to the zine, in some respects: they’re cleaner and clearer, and the tighter edit (21 images in the zine; 9 prints) leaves out big chunks, but still conveys the story, perhaps even more successfully.
So if you have the opportunity, drop by Jenkins’ shop and support his craft. He’s working solidly and steadily, and producing some nice work.